Yes, I feel like a proud mom! All but about 40 of my harvested cocoons hatched! Watching them first mate, then start laying eggs in the tubes has been so rewarding.
But let me back up a smidge…last fall, my Asian pear trees had produced more fruit than the previous year. Not only that, but the one variety that was typically bland tasting was the sweetest of the three trees! I really believe my bees contributed to a good fruit yield.
I added a nesting block from Crown Bees this year…and the girls have been so busy, I had to just order more tubes and reeds to accommodate them! I just have to find something to put them in (I think my husband needs to make a box for me this weekend).
I also got my neighbor to join in on the fun. She just bought a bee house and tubes, so I gave her a bee attractant cloth…maybe some of my gals will migrate over to her bee home. Crown Bees still has cocoons that need homes, so I ordered more of those, too. I plan to give some to my neighbor to really get her started. The fruit trees have pretty much dropped their blooms, but there are still plenty of flowers (lilac, roses, and others) around for them to continue making bee bread for their brood.
By the looks of things, I think I’ll have twice as many cocoons at last year. I plan to give the extras to Crown Bee (in exchange for nesting materials, maybe).
In preparation for after the bees are done laying eggs, I purchased a net sack to keep out parasites, etc. I also purchased a humidifier for the fridge, that will make it easier to store my cocoons.